Brooklyn Walking Tour: Impressive Brooklyn Transformations   

View from the Brooklyn Promenade.
View from the Brooklyn Promenade. Photo Credit: Kyle Sanok/Let’s Go!

Brooklyn paves the the way for all things hip, trendy, and edgy (while staying PC of course). Oftentimes, these new trends involve acts of repurposing, recycling, and reinventing. Think exposed brick and mason jars. After this Brooklyn walking tour, I learned that the borough’s act of repurposing extends further than originally thought. Here are a few times when Brooklyn really out-hipstered itself with these transformations:

1. Sawdust Factory: One of the first stops on the Brooklyn Walking Tour is this repurposed Sawdust Factory. Once the sawdust industry began to fade, the old factory in Brooklyn owned by the National Sawdust Co. was abandoned. A non-profit group of artists purchased the building and completely gutted the already-decrepit interior. They threw up a stunning mural on the exterior while keeping the original company name, National Sawdust Co, and the architects transformed the space into a twenty-first century concert venue for artists of all types.

Street art on the National Sawdust building.
Street art on the National Sawdust building. Photo Credit: Kyle Sanok/Let’s Go!

2. Water Tank: Atop the Williamsburg Hotel currently stands a wooden watering tank. However, like all overlooked items in Brooklyn, this tank is not exactly as it appears. The hotel, which is still under construction, plans to repurpose the tank into a rooftop bar with views of Manhattan—a modern equivalent of turning water into wine. Along with this water-tank bar, the hotel will feature a rooftop pool as well.

Artist working on street art in Brooklyn.
Artist working on street art in Brooklyn. Photo Credit: Kyle Sanok/Let’s Go!

3. Catholic Church: First constructed as an Italian Catholic church, the Armenian Catholics soon came in and purchased the building. The building then changed hands one last time when a group of developers purchased the building and converted the space into apartment units. Although once welcome to all of faith, now you will have to pay a steep $4,000 a month to gain access. This church-turned-apartment is a must-see on any Brooklyn walking tour. 

Building on the right used to be a Catholic church and has been repurposed into apartments.
Building on the right used to be a Catholic church and has been repurposed into apartments. Photo Credit: Kyle Sanok/Let’s Go!

4. Marine Rail Terminal: Although this terminal does not currently stand, Brooklyn repurposed the space to create one of the borough’s greatest attractions—Smorgasburg. The old rail terminal used the proximity to the water for a port, but this outdoor food flea market repurposed the location for the views of Manhattan. Every Saturday, over 100 vendors offer everything from ice cream, to burgers, to donuts, and everything in between. If you take a Brooklyn walking tour on a Saturday, you should definitely stop by for some treats! 

People in line at the Smorgasburg in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
People in line at the Smorgasburg in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Photo Credit: DumboNYC.

What are you waiting for? Take a trip to Brooklyn yourself to admire the creativity and ingenuity of the borough! Check our more hot spots in NYC on our blog! 

Written by: Kyle Sanok, a Let’s Go! researcher-writer

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